Biden administration condemns Russian strikes on Ukraine's power infrastructure
From CNN's Betsy Klein
The Biden administration on Wednesday condemned Russian strikes on power generating infrastructure across Ukraine.
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement that Russia “is increasingly turning to horrific attacks against the Ukrainian people with punishing strikes damaging energy grid infrastructure, and deliberately doing so as winter approaches.”
Watson said that the strikes “do not appear aimed at any military purpose,” but “instead further the goal of the Putin regime to increase the suffering and death” of Ukrainians.
Watson’s statement touted an additional $400 million security assistance package for Ukraine announced earlier Wednesday.
CNN’s Yulia Keseiva reported moments ago that power has been restored to almost 90% of the Ukrainian city of Lviv, officials said, following the Russian air strikes that knocked out power to much of the country.
Almost all power restored to Ukrainian city of Lviv and other regions hit by Russian strikes
From CNN’s Yulia Keseiva in Kyiv
Power has been restored to almost 90% of the Ukrainian city of Lviv, officials said Wednesday, following another barrage of Russian strikes which knocked out electricity throughout much of the country.
In a telegram statement, Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said that scheduled blackouts, which have become regular during the invasion, will continue due to country’s war damaged energy infrastructure, “so some houses may be without electricity.” Water and heating have also been restored and all city services are working, he added.
The situation in Odesa is similar with water and heat restored, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine.
“Power supply — the region is supplied, consumers are being connected,” he said. Electricity in the Zaporizhzhia region has also been restored.
According to the Ternopil region military administration, the power system there is “being stabilized” with customers “gradually being connected to the grid.”
About one third of the region has electricity with critical infrastructure facilities being connected to the power supply first.
UN nuclear watchdog: "Increasingly precarious" nuclear safety situation at Zaporizhzhia power plant
From CNN's Radina Gigova in London
Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant lost access to external electricity again on Wednesday and is relying on emergency diesel generators, the International Atomic Energy Agency said, warning of the "increasingly precarious and challenging nuclear safety and security situation" at the plant.
The team of IAEA experts present at the power plant said it lost off-site power at 3:30 p.m. local time Wednesday when it was fully disconnected from the grid, "following reports of widespread military action targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure," IAEA said in a statement.
"Initially all the site’s 20 diesel generators started operating automatically, and now eight of them are supplying the site with back-up electricity needed for all safety related equipment. The other 12 diesel generators are in stand-by mode," IAEA said.
Some context: The Zaporizhzhia plant has been disconnected from the national grid several times during the fighting in Ukraine, "most recently in early November when it took two days to restore external power supplies," the agency said.
IAEA also said it has received information from Ukraine’s national operator Energoatom that “due to a decrease in the frequency in the power system of Ukraine" all power units at two other plants — the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant and the Khmelnytskyy Nuclear Power Plants — were automatically disconnected as part of emergency protection.
"The need for secure off-site power supply from the grid for all nuclear sites is one of the seven indispensable pillars for ensuring nuclear safety and security during an armed conflict," IAEA said.
At least 7 dead from Russian strikes across Kyiv region, officials say
From CNN’s Yulia Keseiva in Kyiv
At least seven people were killed and 36 were wounded following a fresh wave of Russian strikes across Ukraine, according to officials.
Four died in the region of Kyiv, the head of Kyiv region military administration, Oleksii Kuleba, said in a Telegram statement. In the city of Kyiv, three people were killed Wednesday, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a post on Telegram.
German chancellor says country's energy security for this winter is “guaranteed”
From CNN's Sugam Pokharel in London
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday that Germany’s energy security for this winter season is “guaranteed” amid Europe’s energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“It is guaranteed because the German government took a courageous turn in direction and because households and companies across the country save energy,” Scholz told German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin.
Scholz also said that he shares the goal with French President Emmanuel Macron of a geopolitical Europe that is “significantly more capable of acting.”
UN Security Council to meet about Ukraine following Zelensky request
From CNN's Richard Roth
The UN Security Council will hold an urgent meeting Wednesday on Russia's latest strikes across Ukraine on the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.
Europe's largest cities to donate power generators to Ukraine as part of joint campaign
From CNN's Radina Gigova
Europe's largest cities will donate power generators and transformers to Ukraine as part of a joint campaign. It comes as temperatures begin to drop and Russia continues to attack Ukrainian energy infrastructure.
The “Generators of Hope” initiative, launched Wednesday by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence and president of Eurocities, a network of more than 200 large European cities, is aimed at providing energy to essential facilities in the country, including hospitals, schools, water supply stations, relief centers, shelters and phone masts.
“The European Parliament and the EU have shown remarkable solidarity with Ukraine on the humanitarian, military and financial front. Now they need practical support to get through the winter," Metsola said at a press conference Wednesday. "I call on all cities, towns and regions across Europe to join the Generators of Hope campaign."
"As Mayors, my colleagues and I know the importance of local services," Nardella said. "By launching this direct call to action for cities to get together and help Ukraine by donating generators and transformers, we can help ensure that Ukraine’s cities will be able to manage their day to day lives in the best way possible."
"We must act immediately. Winter is upon us, there is no electricity and gas, there is no time to waste," Nardella added.
Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who joined the launch virtually, said Ukraine is "proud that Europeans and their institutions" are "standing by Ukraine in responding to Russia's terrorist tactics against Ukrainian civilians.”
Zelensky requests urgent meeting of UN Security Council over Russia strikes
From CNN’s Yulia Keseiva and Olga Voitovych in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is requesting an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council following the latest Russian strikes on power-generating infrastructure across Ukraine.
“I have instructed our Ambassador to the UN to request an urgent meeting of UNSC following today’s Russian strikes. Murder of civilians, ruining of civilian infrastructure are acts of terror. Ukraine keeps demanding a resolute response of international community to these crimes,” he said on Twitter.
At least four people were killed in Kyiv in Wednesday’s strikes, according to officials.
Zelensky thanked members of the European Parliament for its acknowledgment of Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism" in a statement following the strikes. He said Russia has “proved to the whole world” that it deserves the classification by “launching 67 missiles at our infrastructure, at our energy industry, at ordinary people.”
He reassured Ukrainians that power engineers, rescuers and local authorities are hard at work in impacted areas.
“We will restore all this. We will go through all this, because we are an unbreakable people,” Zelensky said.
Kyiv residents without power say they'll stay with friends or family tonight
From CNN’s Yulia Keseiva in Kyiv
Kyiv residents who lost power in their homes told CNN they are planning to stay with friends or family tonight as temperatures drop below freezing.
Sofia, 24, a sales manager at a cafe in the city center, said she carries a flashlight, knife and insulated flask with her “at all times” in case of a missile attack.
“My friend in the Osokorky district has power, so I will either go to his place for the night or to my other friend in the Borshchahivka district,” she said.
Tamara, 53, works at a meat market in Lukianivka. She described sheltering in the district’s metro station after air raid sirens sounded on Wednesday and then getting a message to say the power had been knocked out at her house.
“I'm going to stay with my daughter for the night on the east bank of Dnipro [River],” she said. “I saw in the news today that Europe recognized Russia as a terrorist country. This should have been done a long time ago! I hope for them to experience what they do to us! They are inhumane.”
Earlier Wednesday, the European Union Parliament voted in favor to recognize Russia as “a state sponsor of terrorism” in what has been considered a symbolic move.
The people CNN spoke to declined to give their last names.